The Success of the Doosan Bears
As the reigning champion, the Doosan Bears have captured 6 Korean Series, which came in 1982, 1995, 2001, 2015, 2016, and 2019. The Doosan Bears were initially called the OB Bears and were labeled as the first team in the league. The Bears played in Daejeon in 1982 but moved to Seoul in 1985. However, they wouldn’t become the Doosan Bears as we know them, until 1999. The Doosan Bears triumphed in the first season of the KBO versus the Samsung Lions. The Doosan Bears have competed in the past 5 Korean Series while winning 3 of them. The Doosan Bears have produced seven league MVP’s on their roster since the inception of the league.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is at the heart of South Korea’s economy, culture, and politics. As the capital of South Korea, Seoul has a substantial and dense population that resides in a relatively small amount of space. Seoul holds a state of the art subway system, with the majority of its residents living in modernized high rise buildings. Seoul concentrates on the amenities and historic sites of the city, as it is the most comprehensive tourist destination in all of South Korea. Seoul is also home to countless international business meetings and conventions.
Seoul is deemed to be the hub for education in South Korea as the majority of South Korean universities are located in the city, including Seoul National University, which is the most prestigious school in South Korea. Seoul National University started a baseball team that was founded in 1977. Unluckily for the team, it took a record of 0-199 over 27 years before they were able to achieve their first victory.
Jamsil Baseball Stadium
The first baseball stadium to appear in Korea was Jamsil Baseball Stadium, which opened in 1982. The seating capacity of the stadium is capped at 25,000 fans. Jamsil Baseball Stadium is home to both the Doosan Bears, and their rivals, the LG Twins. The Jamsil Derby on Children’s Day has been a tradition between the Doosan Bears and LG Twins since 1996. The matchup between the two clubs is so highly anticipated that the game has sold out for the 12th consecutive year. Jamsil Baseball Stadium also hosted the Seoul Olympic Games in the summer of 1988. Many tourists enjoy visiting the stadium, as it has hosted many international soccer matches, track and field events, as well as shows and concerts.
Who is Jae-hwan Kim?
Jae-hwan Kim has gained recognition as the star player for the Doosan Bears. While he had a dropoff in production during the 2019 season, he tested the waters in the offseason, while pursuing his dream to play in MLB. Unfortunately for Kim, he may have hesitated for too long to join the international signing period, as he only earned interest from the Miami Marlins. While Kim is not going to be fulfilling his dream just yet, he will remain with the Doosan Bears for the time being.
For three consecutive years from 2016-2018, Jae-hwan Kim averaged over .300, scored more than 100 runs, belted past 35 home runs, and drove in over 115 RBIs. He won the MVP award in 2018 while batting .334, scoring 104 runs, slugging 44 home runs, and knocking in 133 RBIs.
The Doosan Bears have implemented fan appreciation day’s throughout their season to form a close relationship with their fanbase. The first fan event that the Doosan Bears commenced was Bear’s Day in 2007, which is an annual fan appreciation day that is looked forward to by the fans. They also introduced Queen’s Day, which celebrates the teams’ female fanbase to help grow their support for the team. Next, you have Mr. Doo Day, which is a marketing strategy implemented by the Doosan Bears to target their male fans. Each month, the team will play three consecutive games that are catered towards men. Mr. Doo Day presents a fan appreciation sweepstakes where a grand prize is sponsored through a lottery. The team also included Players’ Day, which is where the Doosan Bears wear the throwback uniforms of the 1982 OB Bears.
Doosan Bear’s Legend
The number 21 jersey was retired of the Doosan Bears for the legendary pitched Park Chul-soon. Before his career in the KBO, Park was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers, where he reached AA. However, he would sign with the Doosan Bears in 1982. In the inaugural season of the KBO, Park was the MVP of the league, as well as the Korean Series. He finished the year with 24 wins, an ERA of 1.84, along with 108 strikeouts. During the 1982 regular season, Park won 22 consecutive starts, which is a record that still holds to the day.
1988 Summer Olympics
During the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, the USA baseball team triumphed over Japan in the finals of the championship game. It marked the first Olympic gold medal in baseball for Team USA. Japan beat Team USA in the finals in 1984, but they would achieve its revenge this time around. Team USA featured pitching sensation Jim Abbott, New York Yankees legend Tino Martinez, and Robin Ventura, star Chicago White Sox player, and later would become manager of the team. Jim Abbott would pitch team USA to victory, along with the power of Tino Martinez at the plate. Tino would drill two home runs in the championship, while Jim Abbott went the distance, and retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.